Pope thanks firefighters for saving Notre Dame Cathedral

The Pope has thanked the firefighters who risked their lives to save the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Speaking during his weekly address in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said: ‘The gratitude of the whole Church goes to all those who did everything they could, even risking their lives, to save the Basilica.’

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants to see Notre Dame rebuilt within five years.

Millions of euros have been pledged towards the rebuilding, with some of Europe’s most influential business people promising cash toward the restoration.

Whilst the damage is significant, parts of the cathedral have been saved.

Firefighters worked through the night and managed to save the treasured stone facade of the Gothic cathedral and two bell towers from complete destruction.

A large number of Notre Dame’s priceless artefacts were rescued by fire crews.

The Holy Crown of Thorns, believed to have been worn by Jesus at his crucifixion, was saved by firefighters, as was a sacred tunic worn by 13th-century French king Louis IX.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed several of the most sacred had been saved, while culture minister Franck Riester said others were being held under lock and key at the city hall.

Some artworks will be transferred to the Louvre museum for the foreseeable future.

It is believed some of the artefacts suffered smoke damage and will need to be restored.

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